Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

how do I keep a phone number when moving to Europe

how do I keep a phone number when moving to Europe

Old Jul 7th, 2014, 06:31 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 66
how do I keep a phone number when moving to Europe

My son has.a Verizon I phone 5 and is moving to Austria for a year. He would like to keep his phone number while he is there, but will get a phone there, so he won't be using his phone regularly. The problem is it appears that it costs about $40 a month just to keep the iphone active. Verizon does not have any non-smart phones that will work in Europe.

Any suggestions? Should I just change to an old flip phone and keep the number? Pay for a year with the I phone? Or do other carriers have better options?
Flyingaway is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2014, 07:45 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
If he just wants to keep his US number active while he is in Europe, this is one possible way.


<b>Check to see if he can transfer his number to TracFone, a prepaid phone service.</b>

https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Port...rom=activation


<b>If he can do it, he could get a cheap phone from them and load minutes onto it.</b>

Here is one potential: buy a TracFone phone and starter minutes from Walmart or Walmart.com—this one is $10:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/TracFone-S...nutes/24623087

It comes with 60 minute of airtime; 60-minute phone cards typically give you 90 days of service.


<b>Set up Service Protection</b>

TracFone allows you to pay $5.99 to extend expiring minutes for a month. (If your minutes expire, you lose your phone number!) He could set up to have the monthly fee charged to his credit card automatically.


<b>Total cost for a year would probably be less than $100.</b>

Phone and initial airtime = $10

Service Protection for $6/30 days is 9 x $6 = $54 for 270 days, 10 x $6 = $60 for 300 days.

Total comes to $64 for 360 days or $70 for 390 days—not including taxes or fees (or shipping if you order the phone over the Web). That still comes in at less than $100, and maybe even less than $80.


TracFone service works only in the US, so he could not use the phone in Europe. It would just sit somewhere (at your house, maybe?) until he came back. He would then need to transfer the number to whatever phone he wants to use and cancel the automatic Service Protection. If he didn't want to keep the TracFone, he could donate it to someplace like a women's shelter that needs cell phones.


There are other prepaid providers, of course. I just happen to be familiar with TracFone.

Not sure how this compares to changing his number to an old phone and sticking with Verizon, but I imagine it's cheaper.
Cranachin is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2014, 09:27 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,957
I am not sure about your concern and proposed solutions.

<i>but will get a phone there, so he won't be using his phone regularly.</i>

The interpretation here is:
- He will be getting an Austrian phone + Austrian SIM
- He will not be using iPhone 5 at all?

<i>it costs about $40 a month just to keep the iphone active.</i>

I think the goal is to keep the NUMBER, isn't it?

<i>Verizon does not have any non-smart phones that will work in Europe.</i>

What is the relevance of non-smart phone to your question? He will have an Austrian phone in Europe.

<i>Should I just change to an old flip phone and keep the number?</i>

If Verizon let you drop the data plan on that number, it would work to reduce the monthly fee.

If not, then one way to keep the NUMBER is to transfer the number to another carrier if the contract allows it without major penalty. For example, get a t-mobile SIM and transfer the number. SIMs are sometimes free on promotion, and get pay-as-you-go at $10 every 90 days. You don't even have to use the SIM, but using the SIM will give you a confirmation that the number remains active.
greg is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2014, 06:04 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 66
Thanks for the info so far.

using Cranachin's suggestion, I would pay verizon $240 to cancel the contract and then $100 or less to get a Tracphone or similar for a year. That would compare favorably to keeping the iPhone on the verizon plan and paying. $40 per month to keep it active.

So I guess I need to decide if he will be using the iPhone at all.

Greg, I am not sure what it means to buy a SIM. Do you buy that separately from the phone?

I am also looking into a suspension option at Verizon. Apparently, you can suspend a Verizon phone for 3 months while keeping the number. You can do this twice in one year.
Flyingaway is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2014, 11:18 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
I didn't think about having to cancel a contract. Makes a big difference.
Cranachin is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
vermontdad
Europe
7
Apr 10th, 2011 07:18 PM
Bronxbomber
Europe
7
Dec 23rd, 2010 08:29 AM
Robespierre
Europe
34
Jul 19th, 2007 10:17 AM
heelfan
Europe
6
Apr 20th, 2006 08:04 AM
AprilDavid
Europe
10
Sep 20th, 2005 09:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO